You are in a relationship (maybe you have been for awhile now), and you have been feeling neglected by your partner lately. He or she has been working long hours, going out with friends, and has generally seemed disengaged to you. (S)he has not been as present in conversations when you do have them, and you two have not been as intimate with each other recently. You are starting to wonder if (s)he still loves you, or if (s)he is having an affair. You’ve tried the ultimatums, and you’ve communicated at least a few times in the past about your discontent. You’ve yelled and cried (i.e., a more aggressive approach) and nothing has changed. You’ve tried a passive-aggressive approach, and nothing has changed. You’ve even tried a passive approach, hoping that (s)he will somehow notice how upset or depressed you are and curiosity may bring them back to you. Nothing.

So, now what? Well, we definitely don’t want to keep trying the same things we’ve been doing, because those simply aren’t effective. Perhaps by taking a step back to get a different perspective, we can affect change.

When the dynamic shifts in a relationship, from a balanced give and take to an uneven distribution of responsibilities or attention, we can feel undesired, neglected, and even abandoned. This is not a good feeling. We may experience a sense of desperation and fear, trying to fill in all the blanks to explain this change of behavior and interest. Perhaps we wonder why (s)he isn’t as involved in family activities, or why (s)he doesn’t do all the nice things that (s)he used to do for you. The main problem with this is that we begin to shift our spotlight to our partner, and the dilemma is, that (s)he already has the spotlight on him or herself. So now, his/her spotlight is on him/her, and your spotlight is on him/her. But where’s the spotlight on you?

SWAG | Getting The Spotlight Back On You!

The more desperate we become, the more neglectful we become to ourselves and our own needs. Unfortunately, the down side of this is that it’s really just not that sexy. Our partner is already inattentive, and by focusing on him/her, we confirm that we are insecure and unworthy of attention. Fortunately, this is a fairly easy problem to fix. Once we have recognized that all the focus is on him/her, and once we are ready to take responsibility for our own happiness, then we simply refocus on ourself. Perhaps (s)he is cheating on you? Perhaps (s)he is really stressed out about something at work? Perhaps (s)he is experiencing psychological distress and withdrawing from everyone (not just you)? At the end of the day, it does not matter because you cannot force your partner to open up and talk to you if (s)he is unwilling to do so. And pressuring them will not likely benefit either of you.

What’s the solution? Spotlight back on you! In recent months of worrying needlessly about what your partner might be up, did you neglect a few important parts of your own life? It’s likely that you did. So, now is the time to get back in the gym, get back into life. Focus on your own health and get back to basics. Are you getting adequate and quality sleep? Are you exercising daily? Are you eating a nutritious diet, packed full of fruits and vegetables? And what about your social life? Have you neglected your friends or spent less time socializing because your worry has consumed all your time? Now it’s time to get dressed up and go out with friends! Have you neglected hobbies? When you two met, you were full of life, you had a lot of hobbies and interests, for example, you were teaching yourself a foreign language “just because,” and you were learning guitar, and starting a new business venture. That’s the person your partner fell in love with, but somewhere along the way, you lost touch with this “you” and it’s possible that your partner did too.

The goal here is be the best, sexiest, most attractive version of yourself, right? Well, the sexiest thing is confidence, at any age. When you take care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually, you communicate self-love, self-value, and confidence. When you are socializing, active, growing as a person, then your partner is constantly reminded of your worth. When you shift your spotlight back to you, and you become self-preserving, then your partner may suddenly recognize this. And if you’re really having fun in your life irrespective of who is in it, then even your partner will take notice. Essentially what you’re doing is saying, “Party’s over here! Party’s over here!” And we all want to be where the party is, not in a warzone. You may not have control over anybody’s else’s thoughts, feelings, or behaviors, but you certainly have control over your own. YOU are the best investment you will ever make in your life, so it’s time to move the spotlight back to you.

Party’s over here!!!

Cover photo by Kyle Loftus on Unsplash

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